minecraft

Leaving kids in front of screens unsupervised for hours may have unpleasant consequences, parents learn

We all did so well keeping our kids away from obvious traps like 4chan, but it turns out that during those endless unsupervised hours watching Minecraft videos and Twitch streams, their hosts were muttering on about anime and black IQs and what to do about The Jews. And now our kids are hitting their teens, it's coming out of them like the first belches of sewage from a blocked toilet, and, well, here we all are in 2017!

...again this week with the news that YouTube video gaming personality JonTron had made several racist and anti-semitic statements. JonTron — real name Jon Jafari — started his week by tweeting support for Iowa representative Steve King on Sunday, after King made the troubling claim that “we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.” Jafari then doubled down on this stance in an interview with fellow streamer Steven “Destiny” Bonnell, complaining of the erosion of a “unifying culture” in the United States, portraying Black Lives Matter as violent terrorists, and repeatedly making portentous warnings that white people would become the minority in American society. ...

On YouTube, these fringe opinions are insidious, too. They’re not set to Leni Riefenstahl films or videos of the Nuremberg Rallies — they dribble out during video game streams, or in Twitch chat, or in YouTube’s never-ending “up next” queue. These are ostensibly benign spaces that have become politicized in recent years, but not so loudly that the average parent will be able to clock the association.

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Rules For Dating My Daughter: The Modern Father's Guide to Good Parenting

Rules For Dating My Daughter is a slice of life. It gives glimpses into the domestic and professional life of cartoonist and father Mike Dawson, as he navigates earning a living, finding creative inspiration, and raising children (together with his wife).

The book intersperses mundane everyday experiences, told in illustrated diary form, with comics where he tackles massive issues: climate change, the scale of history, the ethics of eating meat, gun violence, and modern feminism. The shifts aren’t jarring because ultimately this is a collection about parenthood. Global issues like environmental change are made to feel personal, now that Dawson is responsible for two young lives.

The central questions — how to be a good person, and how to raise good people — are universal. Dawson tackles these with disarming honesty and attention to detail, whether he’s teaching his daughter how to play Minecraft or wrestling with making his kids do something he’s not willing to do himself. In its quiet way, Rules For Dating My Daughter is a refreshing change from lots of pop culture depictions of fatherhood. It shows how hard parenting can be, and how easy it is to get lost in both abstract big-picture stuff and mundane trivialities.

Rules For Dating My Daughter: The Modern Father's Guide to Good Parenting by Mike Dawson Uncivilized Books 2016, 160 pages, 6.0 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches, Paperback $11 Buy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Are we living in a simulation?

8-Bit Philosophy tackles the age-old question: Are We Living in a Simulation? Fittingly, their explanation uses a Minecraft example. Read the rest

The 20 games you shouldn't miss in 2016

Since I last presented a year-end videogame wrap-up for Boing Boing readers, it's become an exponentially harder task. The number of games released per day has - even just since 2014! - risen a few times over, so narrowing a list down means leaving amazing and creative work behind. That's not even to mention the herculean task of staying on top of the pile of games still unplayed.

2016 gave us a generous amount of powerhouse titles hoisted by massive budgets and massive marketing efforts: hello Overwatch, Dark Souls III, Doom, No Man's Sky, Pokémon Sun & Moon, and especially Uncharted 4. But I did my best to wander the far corners of the internet, searching and sometimes blindly stumbling upon weird, beautiful, thoughtful videogames.

Below you'll find 20ish games (actually quite a good number more) that sang to me the most, and I think exemplify the best that 2016 had to offer. You'll find interesting places to explore, unique achievements and re-inventions of old standards, and brilliant ideas executed simply. I hope you find them as surprising and delightful as I did.

👾

Beglitched

by A.P. Thomson & Jenny Jiao Hsia • Get it: Windows/Mac/Linux

Beglitched is, on its face, a fairly simple match-3 type game, on the same family-tree branch as Bejeweled or Candy Crush or any other number of similar clones you may have spent all your idle moments thumbing around with on your phone over the past few years. Read the rest

Atari 2600 emulator in Minecraft

SethBling says: "I built an Atari 2600 Emulator in vanilla Minecraft using a couple thousand command blocks." Download the world and watch the technical video here. Read the rest

Atari 2600 emulated inside Minecraft

Seth Bling built a functioning Atari 2600 emulator in Minecraft. Not just the processor, or the box, but the whole thing, complete with cartridges and a television. The white flashing line you see in it is the television's scanning electron beam being emulated. You can watch dirt blocks turn to stone and back: that's the ones and zeroes in the Atari's memory. You can edit the memory, bit by bit, by punching it!

It takes Minecraft about three minutes to draw each frame, but Bling recorded a timelapse of it in action. Click through to the YouTube for a download of the Minecraft world housing the emulator. Here's a technical explanatory video:

Previously: Extremely Mundane Places In Minecraft Read the rest

Kano - a Raspberry Pi computer kit now has a screen

My daughter and I have been having fun with the latest Kano computer and coding kit, which comes with a screen. It's powered by a Raspberry Pi, a small Linux computer, and was created to allow kids to make games, music, and art through coding.

The operating system is already installed and comes with a bunch of fun applications and games, like Scratch and Minecraft. It has built in wifi and a Chromium web browser, and the small orange wireless keyboard has a touch pad. It plays YouTube videos and you could probably get away with using it as an everyday computer.

To "build" the Kano, you follow the simple, well designed instructions to snap pieces together. The manual describes the function of each component as you go along. Once you put it together, plug it in and you'll be taken on a candy-colored tour of Kano-land, where you can create an avatar and sign up for an account on Kano, so you can complete quests (like customizing a Pong game with a Scratch-like program called Kano blocks), and share and download your creations. There's a game called Terminal Quest that teaches Linux commands as "spells" to make things happen.

Check out Kano's Make Art website to give you an idea of what Kano's coding environment is like.

The Screen Kit is a 10" LDC 1280 x 800 display that's crisp and bright. You don't need the screen to use a Kano. If you want you can buy the basic Kano kit and plug it into any HD display. Read the rest

Get Your Hands On Boing Boing’s Best-Selling Deals of October

#1. 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cable: 3-Pack

With this deal, for the price of one Apple Lightning Cable, you get three ($21.99): now you can keep a cable at work, one in the car, and one at home, too. The cables are MFi certified, so they’re guaranteed to work perfectly with your Apple devices. And of course, their 10ft length means you won’t have to get out of bed or walk across the room to use your phone while it’s powering up. Finally—no more having to deal with a dead phone battery, no matter where you are.

#2. Ultra Soft 1800 Series Bamboo Bed Sheets: 4-Piece Set (White)

There are a lot of ways to unwind after a long day, but our personal favorite is settling down to sleep on these ultra-soft, ultra-luxurious bed sheets. Bamboo Bed Sheets ($32.98) are made with a combination of bamboo yarns and microfiber, and come specially treated and pre-shrunk—so not only are they ridiculously comfortable, they’re crazy durable, too. One set includes a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.

#3. Piper Computer Kit

The Piper Computer Kit ($279) gives you a real engineering blueprint that you can follow to assemble your own self-contained computer—which runs on the Raspberry Pi 2 Project Board. Once you’ve assembled your computer, you can access PiperUniverse, an educational Minecraft story mode that will deepen your understanding of computer engineering principles. The Piper Computer Kit makes the perfect present for kids and adults alike.

Also explore the Best-Sellers on our network right now:PythonPython Programming Bootcamp ($39) Cord-CuttingGhost Indoor HDTV Antenna (57% off)CodingLearn to Code 2016 Bundle (Pay What You Want)Music + EntertainmentBrain.fm: 3-Year Subscription ($29) Read the rest

Build your own computer with the Piper Computer Kit

The Piper Computer Kit is an innovative kit that will not only teach you to build a computer, but help you truly understand how a computer works. You'll follow a real engineering blueprint to assemble your own self-contained computer—which runs on the small but powerful Raspberry Pi 2.

Once you’ve actually assembled the computer, you can learn computer engineering principles through PiperUniverse, an educational Minecraft story mode. With PiperUniverse, you’ll explore hardware components and challenges that will further strengthen your computer knowledge. Best of all, the micro USB comes preloaded with a Raspberry Pi version of Minecraft so you can celebrate your creation with some serious gaming.

Most importantly, the Piper Computer also functions as an actual Raspberry Pi computer, so there are limitless DIY projects you can explore from there. The Piper Computer may have been created to provide a controlled electronic learning environment for kids, but it's actually a really great and fun way for adults to get their feet wet in DIY.

For a limited time, you can get the Piper Computer Kit at a discounted price of just $279.

Explore more trending deals:

10' Lightning-to-USB Cable: 3-Pack ($21.99)Universal Smartphone Shadow Mount ($9.99)FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth Earbuds ($39.95)CloudPress Professional Plan: No Coding Required ($44.99) Read the rest

Martin Shkreli offers a bailout to ailing 4chan

Meme factory/Anonymous birthplace/alt-right breeding ground 4chan is facing challenges similar to those plaguing all ad-supported sites, but as with all things channish, 4chan's problems have their own unique and grotesque wrinkles. Read the rest

FINALLY! A working Nintendo Gameboy Advance inside Minecraft

A master minecrafter has given us the recursive video gaming experience we didn't know we needed! Amazingly he has made a working GBA emulator, inside Minecraft! The Gameboy works well enough to play "Pokemon Fire Red."

Via TechTimes:

Nevertheless, it is still very much surprising when gamers continue to find ways to push the limits of Minecraft, and the latest achievement even gives a nod to another popular video game franchise that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

A YouTuber who goes by the name Reqaug has built a fully functional Gameboy Advance within Minecraft, with the virtual mobile gaming console also capable of playing Pokémon Fire Red.

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Minecraft schools edition in beta testing

An educational edition of hit game/toy/epic/religion Minecraft is in beta testing, reports The Verge, and teachers are invited to get their hands on it early.
Minecraft: Education Edition is almost identical to standard Minecraft, but it includes a handful of features designed for the classroom. A couple smaller features were announced in January — like an in-game camera for taking screenshots — and some more substantial ones are being announced today. That includes adding in-game chalkboards that can display large blocks of text and letting teachers place characters that'll say things when a student walks up to them.

The biggest new feature won't come until September, when the game launches. It's called Classroom Mode, and it's essentially a control panel for teachers. Teachers will be able to use the interface to grant resources to students, view where everyone is on a map, send chat messages, and teleport people to specific places, which will be useful should students run off or get lost.

Classroom mode alone looks great for improving multiplayer in general:

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Summer Camps for Coding? Think Again.

If you're a Boing Boing reader with children, the thought of getting them into coding has probably crossed your mind. Summer is a great time to expose kids to new interests, and coding is no exception. But unlike traditional summer camps, coding camps are less familiar territory, and often demand a high price tag with uncertain outcomes.

Recursive video gaming: Destiny in Minecraft

A minecrafter, infered5, has decided to recreate all of Bungie's Destiny, inside of Minecraft. It is pretty amazing!

Kotaku shares the story:

Some Minecraft players like to build houses, or castles, or mazes full of monsters. Others prefer to recreate the entirety of Destiny.

Player infered5's pet project is to remake all of Bungie’s space dress-up sim in the blocky world of Minecraft, and he’s done a pretty good job so far. Check out this footage for a quick tour through Minecraft’s version of the Tower and even some of the Cosmodrome:

“We have the Cosmodrome built from the Steppes to the Divide, through the breach and through the Devils Lair, nothing Mothyards and beyond is made,” infered5 told me. “The Moon was made with worldpainter as a proof of concept, but has no underground areas. Very bland. The Cosmodrome was built by hand and has much more detail. The Tower and Reef are built in their entireties.”

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Nintendo claims ownership over fans' Minecraft/Mario mashups

Nintendo continues its long-running campaign of legal harassment against its biggest fans: this time, they're targeting fan-videos showing gameplay from the official, licensed Mario/Minecraft mashup pack for the Wii U. Read the rest

A look at digital habits of 13 year olds shows desire for privacy, face-to-face time

Sonia Livingstone, an LSE social psychology prof, gives us a peek into the results from The Class, a year-long, deep research project into the digital lives and habits of a class of 13 year olds at an ordinary school. Read the rest

Count the number of rats climbing this pole when the light is turned on

Is this a restaurant? Bonus points for the unintentional Minecraft mobs sound effects. Read the rest

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